Sarah’s Wedding: The Reception

Apparently, the dinner, speeches, dancing and festivities after the wedding ceremony were all amazing. Too bad Jake and I were wrangling the girls through 90% of it, so I had to piece together things second hand from everyone.

By the time family pictures were done, the no nap situation was starting to take its toll and the girls only got worse as the night went on.

Bottom line: I fully understand why no one wants to bring their kids to weddings! I felt like I didn’t get to fully enjoy my own sister’s wedding reception and was in such a bad mood when it was all over that I sat in bed back at the condo and binged on some leftover chocolate chip pancakes! My biggest regret of the entire day was definitely not hiring a babysitter (or two…or three) to come with us to the reception so that the girls could still be a part of the wedding, and so that Jake and I could celebrate with everyone too!

After family pictures, we took the girls away from the deck below where the toasts were going on and most of the guests were seated for dinner so that we wouldn’t disturb anything. We found the perfect table upstairs, with a bonus of having heating lamps; I guess I’m a true Californian now that I can’t handle any kind of weather below 60. I even had a coat or two on the ready, but was so tired and out of it that I didn’t have the presence of mind to grab it from the car and put it on!

The girls nibbled on some appetizer crackers while Jake and I attempted to listen to my dad’s and the best man’s toasts before dinner. The speeches were heartfelt from what I heard of them!



Samantha clutches the bubbles she found.


While waiting for dinner, one of the waitresses took pity on us and brought out some snacks for the girls. Amelia was delighted to try her first maraschino cherry, which she promptly wiped all over her white bolero.


We were keeping the girls contained on the upper deck during the toasts and dinner.


Zombie eyes! This is why we take naps, Samantha.


I’m so tired I can’t tell the difference between this bouquet and this cracker!


Noah was so good and partied with the best of them the entire night!


After taking approximately two bites of dinner, Jake and I alternated trying to talk to family and friends and attending to the girls, who were melting down fast. We walked around the lodge with the girls and found some fascinating moose heads and saddles they could climb on, which kept them happy for a bit.

Love the moose head photo bomb.


Hopefully the photographers got a bunch of pictures of all the details/decor at the reception. I was so busy, I hardly took more than five pictures the entire night, but I just love detail photos! All the weeks that Sarah and my mom put into painting frames and making signs/decor for the reception paid off. Everything looked so cute! Samantha and Amelia loved seeing their names in print, too.


Samantha and Amelia were fascinated by the dancing and had a blast blowing bubbles during the happy couple’s first dance. Ow ow!!!



Sarah and Mike did a fantastic job on their dance. The girls loved it and still ask to watch this little video clip of their dance on my phone all the time!

Way to go, Dad, on the Father Daughter dance! Precious!


After Mike and his mom’s dance (also an awesome job!), it was time to party– Jewish style! We all joined hands and danced around in a circle for the Horah. This was definitely Samantha and Amelia’s favorite part of the entire wedding. They couldn’t believe Aunt Sarah got lifted up in a chair in the middle of the circle! The girls had such a blast, they even let Grandpa and Uncle Steve hold their hands and dance around the circle. (1)

When the music stopped, the girls begged to do it again!

We alternated between walking around the lodge with the girls and going out on the patio to dance. The girls even made a few song requests from the DJ. Unfortunately, he didn’t have If You’re Happy and You Know It on hand.



Attempting to get a group photo of all the flower girls during the dancing. Fail.


We had bribed the girls all night with the promise of cake, and at last, they could stuff themselves silly! Thank you, Mike for not stuffing cake in Sarah’s face. He was under threat of violence from all of us if he did anything of the sort!


Don’t mess with an overtired Samantha and her cake. I had no less than 10 hair bows/headbands on hand to put in the girls’ hair (I rightly assumed they would ruin the flower girl hair crowns from the florist hours ago), but was so out of it, I didn’t think to put any in their hair! Hence, the increasingly scraggly hair as the night went on!


Cute pic of Grandpa, Auntie Lynn and my Dad.


Downstairs, Sarah had set up a cute map where guests could put a pushpin in wherever they thought Sarah and Mike should travel to next. Samantha and Amelia of course chose Swaziland (duh).

Downstairs was also one of the best details of the reception– an awesome photo booth. You didn’t sit in an actual booth like at some receptions I’d been to. Instead, there were two live photo booth photographers there to take funny pictures while we threw flower petals in the air. The photographers instantly printed out the photos for us, and Sarah had some custom photo frames to put the photos in for the guests as the wedding favors. The photographers also put them online for viewing and downloading later on. What a fantastic idea! So much fun.

Too bad we were too stressed out to think of any silly poses to do! Someone on Facebook commented on how she loved this picture because it was so “real.” That’s exactly right! With twin two-year-olds and a baby girl on the way, it doesn’t get any more real than this, people!

Wish I could edit out this flower in front of Samantha’s face! Such a cute one of Noah and the girls.

I call it, “Exhausted Pregnant Mommy.”

Samantha clearly enjoyed her second chance at throwing flower petals, since she didn’t toss any out when walking down the aisle. My favorite expression from Samantha of the night!

Trying to either get the girls to cooperate or move out of our shot!

Amanda and I.

Some other cute ones from the rest of the family. Mike and his girlfriend, Ali.

Siblings: Mom, Aunt Linda and Uncle Johnny.

Zack, Allison, Noah, Auntie Lynn and Uncle Steve.

Grandpa and Noah.

Aunt Linda and Uncle David.

Jack, Sarah, Eleri and Rhys.

Mike, Sarah and Hannah.

Shelley and Hannah.

Uncle Johnny, Aunt Annie, Rhys, Eleri and Jack.

The pictures with Mike’s family were hilarious– especially the ones with his grandma and grandpa!

In going through the photo booth photos, the photographers clearly loved Mike’s grandpa because there were at least ten close ups of his mustache! Pretty impressive!

Dad, Mom and longtime family friends, Barb  and Dan Panzica. (1)

At the front of the reception, Sarah had a table where we could take instant photos with one of her vintage cameras and could print them out/write a message on them and stick in her guest book. Ali took this one of us with my phone right before we started taking some instant photos. I laugh every time I see this photo because you can totally tell we are forcing smiles and the girls look devilish!


The girls took a spiral way downward after the sugar rush from the cake wore off, so we spent the last hour or so of the reception in a little dark room with a TV that we found. We stuck the girls on the couch and checked outside every few minutes to see what was going on. Music was pumping and the party was still in full swing, while we were inside sitting on a couch! We missed the bouquet toss and 98% of the dancing, but such is life.

After the “send off” of the bride and groom (Mike and Sarah did a fake one for the pictures and then stuck around to dance and play card games with their friends), we took off ourselves, even though the party had just gotten started. The girls were out once their heads hit the bunk bed pillows.

Even though we didn’t get to fully take in every detail of the wedding, we were so excited to be able to be there for Sarah’s special day and were happy everyone had a great time! Most of all, we were happy for the newly wedded couple!

Weeks later, Samantha and Amelia are still talking about how they got to “throw” flowers at Aunt Sarah’s wedding, so apparently, they had some fun too. It was so special that they got to be included– thank you Mike and Sarah!

I hope Samantha and Amelia will look back fondly at these pictures one day and take pity on their loving parents. Maybe they will even get the experience of taking napless toddlers to a wedding one day in the future! I look forward to that day with glee.

Lots of love,


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